A message from aceartinc.’s current staff members
Dear aceartinc. community,
As many of you are aware, aceartinc. has been in an active work-in-progress state throughout most of 2020. The intersection of a building move, COVID-19 and–most importantly–feedback from the community that we needed to take time to listen to, process and learn from, required us to temporarily suspend public activities in June.
Since that time, we have been working on our organizational processes and policies, seeking to develop ways to help build a new iteration that is more capable of truly listening, hearing and learning from community feedback; one that provides true equity of opportunity; and one that offers a safe meeting place for the discussion and analysis of ideas surrounding what a contemporary art space should be in 2020 and beyond. Most importantly, we have been considering how we can better support a community of artists and cultural workers for whom social justice is the framing backbone of their activities.
We have found no quick and clear answers; and we do not wish to make a statement that suggests we’re confident in how the organization can move forward in this regard. The truth is, we’re not. And it is for this reason we’ve decided to release this message now: ace needs your help.
In light of the dispersal of aceartinc.’s board of directors, we are calling a Special General Meeting to obtain a completely new contingent of volunteer board members who are aware they are entering an organization at a crossroads: one in need of addressing complex values questions in a manner that incorporates as much community feedback and dialogue mechanisms as possible. And although we have worked hard with the previous board of directors to develop a Community Code of Conduct and related frameworks to support the safety of future important dialogues, the work to come will nonetheless likely be challenging.
The upcoming SGM will serve as a line drawn between an old iteration of aceart and the future that might be possible, and will be focused mostly on the logistical processes needed to facilitate this transition. This, in combination with the meeting’s online nature, means we are aware it may not be the best venue for a truly robust community conversation about the future of aceart. As a result, we have put in place some general community feedback and consultation mechanisms prior to the SGM to help inform and guide the new incoming board, via an online survey and one-on-one confidential feedback appointments with an external consultant. More information on these upcoming processes will be released very shortly. We anticipate this will be just the first of many consultation and feedback mechanisms to come in the very near future. In particular, aceart is very aware of the need to engage in a robust consultation series dedicated to Indigenous and racialized members of our artistic community as soon as is logistically feasible, once we are certain of a mechanism to ensure the integrity of this process.
The date of the upcoming SGM is set for Thurs Nov. 26, 2020, 7 PM to 9 PM. The meeting will be held online given the uncertainty posed by Winnipeg’s current COVID-19 situation. A formal agenda and other related reading materials will be circulated as they become available.
Any interested potential new board members are requested to apply via the nomination form by Mon Nov. 9 at 11:59 PM. Per ace’s bylaws, the organization must publicly release board nominee names two weeks in advance, on Thurs Nov 12, and this timeline will ensure that all interested parties can be included. By law, board members must be 18 years of age or older and cannot be bankrupt. Nominees must also be current, paid members of ace.
While all eligible nominee candidates will be included in the released slate, we believe the organization will be able move forward in the most efficient manner if candidates include those with legal, accounting, HR management or community non-profit executive directorship experience as well as artists and cultural workers with a prior history of volunteerism on community non-profit boards. To this end, we enlist the aceart community to assist us in ensuring we have the strongest and widest representative slate of nominees possible.
More information will be released shortly as we work towards the SGM and upcoming initial consultation series. We appreciate your patience and understanding with us.
Tani Miki, Director of Finance and Administration
Brianna Wentz, Special Projects Coordinator